Pep Guardiola issues fiery response to Jose Mourinho over Raheem Sterling “accusation”

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Pep Guardiola hit back at Jose Mourinho after he accused him of getting Raheem Sterling withdrawn from England duty under false pretences.

Manchester City winger Sterling returned to his club at the start of the week after pulling out of Gareth Southgate's latest England squad with what was described as a “small” injury.

But Tottenham boss Mourinho suggested Sterling's injury was not genuine and called on Southgate to name and shame managers who get their players withdrawn from England duty with bogus problems.

Mourinho said he knew all along Sterling would be fit to start for City in today's clash with Spurs, while Guardiola claimed the 25-year-old only returned to training yesterday.

Guardiola has hit back at Mourinho as their war of words escalates
(Image: REUTERS)

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“Gareth, I read, supposedly said that some club managers put pressure on the players not to play for the national team,” said Mourinho.

“I would like him to say who. I would like him to say which are the coaches who put pressure on the players not to go.

“Of course we all know that Sterling's going to play. When Eric Dier left the national team injured in the past month, he didn’t play two matches for Tottenham.

Was Jose Mourinho wrong to "accuse" Pep Guardiola of forcing England to let go of Raheem Sterling? Have your say here.

Mourinho was told he should speak Sterling's doctors at club and country

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“But Raheem is going to play in this match. These are the little details that I think Gareth should explain to us all.”

That drew a withering response from Guardiola, who said: “Mourinho has to speak to the doctor for the national team of England and the doctor for Manchester City.

“He has to go to the doctors of the national team and Manchester City. Except maybe Mourinho is a doctor, I don’t know.”

When Guardiola was later asked about Mourinho's insinuation that City's players go down too easily when fouled, the Spaniard said: “Listen, I’m not going to answer anything about Jose.

“I said about the doctor, because he accused us of something we've done that is not true.

“You have to speak to the doctors about these other things, don’t ask me. I’m almost 50. I’m old enough to understand.”

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